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Anti-mandate convoy heading to Toronto from Orillia

'We just feel like we're not being heard,' says Orillia woman organizing Saturday's convoy
2022-02-04 Lana Garner
Lana Garner is shown with food donations en route to a mask and vaccine mandate protest in Ottawa last weekend.

An Orillia woman is organizing a convoy to Toronto this weekend to protest vaccine and mask mandates.

Lana Garner started a Facebook group and is encouraging people to join the protest.

Participants will meet Saturday in the municipal parking lot across from Tim Hortons on Colborne Street. Garner will be there around 8 a.m. and she hopes the convoy will get on the road by 10.

“COVID has had an absolutely huge impact on us,” Garner said of her family. “I can’t even go to school (college) because I’m not vaccinated.”

She said she is not anti-vaccination but feels she doesn’t have enough information about COVID-19 vaccines.

“The segregation is the hardest part. I’ve lost a lot of friends over it,” she said.

Her father is a trucker and is vaccinated, though he doesn’t agree with the mandates, Garner said.

“We just feel like we’re not being heard.”

After departing from Colborne Street, the group will stop at Line 15 South, where Garner said they will be joined by a convoy coming from Muskoka.

They will then head to Bass Pro Shops at Vaughan Mills to link up with more convoys before heading to Queen’s Park in Toronto.

Garner went to Ottawa last weekend to join the protests there. That event drew widespread criticism when someone danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and when Nazi symbols were seen on signs and flags.

Garner said that is not the type of message she wants to send.

“When you bring large groups together from different walks of life, there are always going to be some people who go a little too far,” she said. “We try to remind people we’re peaceful. This is not about violence.”